Friday, March 20, 2009

Teri and Oliver

Oliver was a black man who had to be at least in his forties but had a youthful appearance. He took an interest in my knitting and told me about the clothes his mother used to sew him back in New York when he was a kid. She was apparently rather strict. He knew how to do some crochet, but hadn't done it for years. He had a fast way of talking, words tripping over each other as they flowed from his mouth. He thought I had to be from out of the state, no doubt picturing me as some country girl come to the big city.

Teri was 55, he told me so himself, and looked like he could play the sheriff in some old b-western. He was shocked at my age, and wanted to know why I had a degree in film that I wasn't using. When given my usual vague explanations about nepotism and Hollywood, he told me that you could even find that in alleyways. He then related to me stories about living on the beach in the 80s, and being ticketed by the police, and how he'd almost gotten his associates degree. He wished he had a job and focused on taking care of himself even though he lived in the alley.

Both men made allusions to how drinking had gotten in the way of their lives, and seeing their charming smiles, hearing their colorful life stories, and smelling the alcohol on their breath, I felt sad.

The Boy and I have been watching the first 48. A vast majority of the murders on that show are in some way or another drug related. The Boy and I agreed that while we had no real moral, ethical issues about getting high, the violent and ugly nature of the business really soured us on the entire institution. Drugs may not be evil, but some of the people involved in them are.

I realize the world is numerous shades of gray. Boiling things down to drugs and alcohol = bad, prohibition = good is overly simplistic and ultimately not useful. The violence and murder and drugs in the first 48 also has a lot to do with poverty. Both Teri and Oliver no doubt have demons they don't bring up at bus stops, and if they didn't drink alcohol they'd find some other self-destructive outlet for their issues. I've seen people spend money on yarn in a way that made me feel they were searching desperately to fill some hole in their lives, not a few relaxing hours of knitting. People's demons find all kinds of outlets.

Still, I'm sticking with tea these days.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Found the Macro Setting

So now I will subject you to pictures like this:

Mountains of roast potatoes with spicy caramelized onions, an old favorite from Cooks Illustrated that I have done many times. I love fingerling potatoes with brightly colored insides. Slicing them up is like opening little presents.

A hastily tossed together dinner, another winner from Apples for Jam. I had asparagus, but wanted something a little more filling. The boy remarked that he was surprised how well the egg and asparagus went together. The Parmesan didn't hurt either.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Cabbage Stalks At Midnight

I didn't sleep very well. For that I blame this:

Thai Style Salad. An excellent way to hone those knife skills, learned back in January. Yet eating copious amounts of this mostly-cabbage mixture left me unsatisfied, despite the Ma Po Tofu accompaniment. I slept, but the leafy greens and fish sauce haunted me with vapid poppy store music, repeated endlessly in my head.

Today I'm wandering around the house, confused as to the time of day it really is thanks to a time change that I've yet to adjust to. The cats look worried. The housework watches. The writing waits. I'm taking it easy.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Getty Villa Lite

Lately the sun has been out but the air is cold. I go on long walks and start out with two sweaters which I shed along the way. Inside the house I keep an extra layer on all day and the cats stare longingly out to the patio through the closed window.

This morning was a little warmer. Thanks to spring forward I was a little behind before I even woke up, and scrambled to put together the pot roast in the slow cooker. Despite this inauspicious beginning, the sun inspired me to throw together breakfast and bring it outside.

The Boy commented it was like eating at our own Roman Villa. I hope to have more breakfasts and dinners this as we wind our way into Spring and Summer.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Going Barn Red...

Besides trying to do more home cooking, I've been trying to do more home making. With that in mind, about a month ago I purchased Milk Paint with the idea of improving some of our bare wood (read: easy to get dirty) Ikea furniture. The weeks passed by and I didn't get to it, and then someone took matters into his own hands.

Isn't he cute?
I'm happy.